The latest industry news and analysis—across all categories—listed in chronological order, with the most recent articles first.

Its new TV campaign debuted last week.
General merchandise retailer Argos has introduced its new spring/summer furniture and home collection with a big supporting advertising push.

West Yorkshire furniture manufacturer Strachan — maker of high-end fitted bedrooms, home offices and dressing rooms — matched year-earlier trade in 2017–18 but profits fell on higher costs.

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The South Coast factory that was home to the liquidated business.
The liquidator of one of the former furniture companies run by Wesley Barrell owner Ayiaz Ahmed says two separate tracing companies have been paid to try and find a residential address for him, without success.

Sofas & Stuff, the upholstery retailer founded by Sofa Workshop creator Andrew Cussins, is opening a new store in the Midlands, its 13th nationwide.

Privately-owned retailer Duncans of Banchory moved to larger 12,000sqft premises earlier this spring.

Matt O'Flynn, former chairman at the association of British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) and the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture of Manufacturers, has died. He was 44 years old.

Minerva Furniture Group has hired Simon Davies as group merchandise manager with the buying group saying his appointment bolsters its existing team.

Consumers are buying beds more often, says the NBF.
Efforts to encourage shoppers to replace their mattress more often are working according to new research by the National Bed Federation (NBF).

The first UK Way Day is April 10.
Internet retail giant Wayfair will next week slash prices across 250,000 furniture and décor products as it debuts its Way Day promotional event among UK shoppers.

Fitted furniture vertical Starplan Furniture will open its fifth store in England and its eleventh in all by adding a new unit in Staffordshire later this month.

JB Global, the company behind Britain's biggest hardwood furniture retailer Oak Furnitureland, is to have its Swindon distribution centre expanded as part of a transaction that also sees the break clause removed.

Freehold property was held by the holding company, which isn't insolvent.
Suppliers to the no-longer-trading Kingstown group of furniture companies will not recoup funds from the sale of the company's factory with owners having ceded control in the period leading up to the manufacturer entering administration.

Privately-owned rug distributor Flair Rugs will achieve ten straight years of growth if it builds sales again this year after it posted another rise in output in the 12 months to June 30, 2018.

The retailer saw home sales decline again, though impacted by seasonal timing.
Home sales were down nearly a fifth at John Lewis & Partners last week as the department chain annualised a week containing Good Friday and Easter Saturday last year.

Balta Group, the Belgian carpet manufacturing giant and a major supplier to the British market, has appointed interim boss Cyrille Ragoucy as chief executive on a permanent basis.

Wellemöbel, the already-insolvent bedroom, youth and office furniture manufacturer, has ceased production after failing to secure fresh investment.

Parker Knoll's Castlewood Business Park factory.
Three of Britain's largest sofa manufacturers — Duresta, G Plan and Parker Knoll — faced up to rising costs, customer insolvency, adverse weather and challenging trading conditions during 2017–18.

The Lounge Co, the multichannel consumer brand launched by the Sofa Brands International group back in 2016, doubled revenue in its first full year of trading.

Hilding Anders bought Feather & Black late 2017.
Hilding Anders, the beds conglomerate that bought Feather & Black out of administration late 2017, has recapitalised the upmarket bedroom furniture specialist.

Major chemicals supplier Dow is investing in new machinery at its research and development facility in Switzerland which it says will put it at the forefront of comfort innovation for the bedding industry.

Expanding floorcoverings retailer continued its store rollout programme, opening a second showroom in the Midlands last weekend.

wesleyBarrellOK 2018
Wesley Barrell has been beset by problems for some time.
Heritage furniture brand Wesley Barrell faces a new existential threat after the newco that bought the business in a prepack administration in February told employees it too was closing.

Roche Bobois, the high-end furniture vertical whose products are sold in 54 markets worldwide, grew profits as sales advanced in all regions bar one in 2018.

Natuzzi, the Italian upholstery manufacturer and retailer, has delayed the release of fourth quarter and full year 2018 results, which were originally due last Friday (Mar. 29).

Dienne Salotti, a southern Italian sofa maker established at the turn of the century, is to enter the UK for the first time.

madeComDCStanfordleHope's new Essex facility.
Furniture retailer Design has taken a 165,000sqft distribution centre at Stanford-le-Hope, Essex to meet its growing capacity needs as its builds out its UK sales base.

MattressOnline is one of the UK's longest established ecommerce businesses. Inset: Steve Adams (left) and Steve Kelly collect the NBF Retailer of the Year award in 2016.
Steve Kelly, co-founder of MattressOnline, is retiring to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. Co-founder Steve Adams is now sole shareholder after completing a management buyout.

Headlam, Europe's largest flooring distributor, has been given the green light to integrate two companies it bought last year into the group by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Cousins trades from three large flagship stores.
Cost control and wider gross margin helped Cousins Furniture Stores, one of the country's largest independent furniture retailers, counter the impact of weaker demand in 2017–18.

Kerrys Home Furnishings, the home department store retailer which shares common ownership with bed specialist Mattressman, is to close.

Overall confidence remained unchanged.
Save not spend remains the message from British consumers polled for GfK's monthly Consumer Confidence Index in March with fewer people believing now is the right time to splash out on high value items.

Casper Sleep, the U.S. headquartered mattress and ancillary sleep products business which additionally launched in the UK in 2016, has raised $100 million in a new equity funding round.

Vacuum-packed mattress maker Breasley has invested £300,000 in new CNC foam cutting machinery that it says will allow it to produce faster and in greater quantities.

Whitemeadow, the Sutton-in-Ashfield upholstered furniture maker, is reopening its independent showroom from April 29–May 1 to coincide with spring Long Point.

Hypnos said revenue grew in line with its business plan.
Higher cost-of-sales weighed on Hypnos profits in 2017–18 with the Princes Risborough bed maker outperforming the wider market after sales grew in both its principal business units.

Seconique, one of the UK's largest furniture importers and wholesalers, took its two-year investment to approaching eight figures after another large capex outlay in 2017–18.

Boss of UK/Europe of past three years moves on for emerging mattress business. and Littlewoods owner Shop Direct says it will change its corporate name to The Very Group to bring its name and identity in line with its flagship consumer brand.

Ashley Wilde, the circa £31 million turnover Hertfordshire fabrics group, has bought Lanarkshire soft furnishings supplier Voyage Decoration out of administration.

Sports Direct International says it is considering a 5 pence per share offer for department store retailer Debenhams. That would value the company at £61.4 million.

2017–18 was a challenging period, the company said.
Devonshire, one of Britain's last major freestanding cabinet furniture makers, recorded lower sales and narrower margins in 2017–18, impacting profits at the company's trading arm.

The new showroom adds to units at Fulham, Harrogate and Bristol (pictured).
Arlo & Jacob will this Easter open a fourth retail showroom as it continues to build out its physical store presence in selected affluent locations.

A new list of the UK's highest rated retail workplaces in the eyes of employees has given a ringing endorsement to the furniture sector, with around half of those named operating in the category.

John Lewis & Partners posted lower sales across all three major product groupings last week, including a third straight decline in home merchandise revenue.

Carpet price inflation narrowed in February.
Easing input cost pressures helped furniture and flooring price inflation at the factory gate narrow in February, according to new Office for National Statistics data.

Sports Direct owns nearly 30 percent of Debenhams but fears it will lose out from the chain's current refinancing proposals.
Major Debenhams shareholder Sports Direct International says it is considering an all-cash bid for the embattled department store chain fearing refinancing proposals will wipe out current owners' interests and benefit lenders only.

Privately-owned decorative lighting distributor Searchlight Electric capitalised on overseas growth in 2017–18 as the traditional retail sector in the UK bore the brunt of low consumer confidence and the effect of ecommerce.

Fenwick, the privately-owed heritage department store retailer, has appointed Sian Westerman to its board as a non-executive director.

Independent retailers face the loss of an important competitive advantage over multiples.
Britain's elite independent furniture retailers hold many advantages that traders in other products sectors do not, partly explaining why so many of them have endured through the generations.

westElmTCR May 2018
West Elm opened on Tottenham Court Road, London in 2015.
Urban furniture specialist West Elm believes it can grow its business nearly three-fold worldwide in the next five years, vowing to "get even more aggressive," and widen its customer appeal.

The company voluntary arrangement (CVA) enabling bedding and soft furnishings chain Yorkshire Linen Company to downsize its store estate will impact certain creditors only, its supervisor has said.

Retailer Bensons for Beds is moving to new Accrington headquarters in order to accommodate a number of new hires, according to regional newspaper The Lancashire Telegraph.

Upholstery was the weakest category in February.
Retailers suffered weaker sales in February with all four of the main categories — upholstery, cabinets, beds and carpets — seeing year-over-year declines.

Flacks Group, the investment firm that last month said it was considering bidding for Laura Ashley, now says it will not press ahead with a takeover attempt.

Phil Reynolds has been appointed to the newly-created post of chief operating officer at the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA).

Yorkshire Linen trades from 27 stores in the North of England.
Bedding and household textiles retail chain The Yorkshire Linen Company is to downsize its "unsustainable" UK store portfolio after agreeing a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with creditors.

Both the volume and value of mattress and bed base sales by British and Irish manufacturers declined last year with business optimism also falling, according to new data from The National Bed Federation (NBF).

Sales declined again for Willis & Gambier ahead of the decision by its Far East owner Samson Holding to draw a line under its UK furniture wholesale operation earlier this year.

Likewise Group will complete its biggest deal yet with the takeover of Heatseam, a £21 million turnover distributor of residential floorcoverings throughout England and Scotland.

The impact of Sino-U.S trade tensions occupied Hong Kong listed Samson Holding last year as the furniture manufacturing and wholesale conglomerate sought to counter the impact of the imposition of tariffs.